GUERNSEY – The Guernsey Community Food Pantry is benefiting from a new program being offered by Lynn’s Superfoods. The Guernsey store will donate $100 for every $10,000 worth of receipts that are turned in.
According to Michelle Offe, manager of Lynn’s Superfoods in Guernsey, the program was set up by the company.
“They’ve been doing it in South Dakota for a while and they finally brought it to the Wyoming stores,” Offe said. “Bruce Jenkins (from the corporate office) was the one who came down and explained it to me about a month or two ago.”
The first check to the food pantry was given Oct. 14 in a special presentation at Lynn’s Superfoods where Offe presented a check to Guernsey Community Food Pantry board member Joe Michaels for $400. That represents $40,000 in receipts that have been saved and put into the “We Care” program containers which can be found at every checkout lane in the store.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Offe said. “We wanted to do something for the community so I think it’s wonderful that we were able to bring something like this in. All people have to do is put their receipt in the “We Care” containers. Most of the people don’t even take their receipts out anymore, they just drop them in before they leave the store.”
Guernsey Food Pantry Board Member Michaels agreed that this was a very good program set up from the local grocer.
“It’s going to be a big plus to the folks in, not just Guernsey, but the greater Guernsey community,” Michaels said. “It’s an opportunity for us to come up with some additional monies. It’s always hard to be able to know what your income is going to be compared to your outgoing. Lynn’s Superfoods is definitely part of our community. It’s simple. Buy your groceries here, leave your receipt; it’s a great plus for the community.”
Also more exciting news from the pantry comes by the way of two new grants.
“We have received two grants over the past couple of months,” said Guernsey Food Pantry director Pat Russell. “One of those was a grant I applied for and received $5,000 from the Wyoming Community Foundation to purchase food. We also received one from the Elks Lodge in Lusk, Wyoming, called the Spotlight grant. That one was for $2,000 and is also to purchase food.”
According to Russell, the first check that came from Lynn’s Superfoods is not designated for food, but can go to wherever the food pantry has a need. According to Russell, whatever the pantry purchases other than taxable items and gift certificates go into the bundle of receipts given to the store. Unless of course the gift certificate is used to purchase non-taxable items.
The mobile food pantry will be operating and handing out food boxes from the Food Bank of Wyoming on the third Saturday in November and December from 1 – 3 p.m. at 81 W. Whalen St. The program will then start up again in 2022 beginning with the month of February and distributing food every other month in the new year, according to Russell.
“We’ve seen a decrease in the need,” she said. “We are feeling that it’s almost too much. So we are going to go to the even months on the third Saturday starting in February. I also get grants from the Food Bank of Wyoming that I use to purchase food. You never know if you will find another program that you can start, and actually we have been asked if we can do diapers, which at this point we don’t.”
There have been more shelves added to the food pantry within the last few months to extend their ability to store more items.
“In addition, I really should mention that the first lady (Jennie Gordon) bought a hog at the Platte County Fair,” Russell said. “And we were recipients of that processed meat. I don’t know how large it was, but we are still distributing part of it.”
A new program that was added to the Guernsey Community Food Pantry in July deals with the delivery service to people who are shut-in or cannot make it to the pantry for various reasons.
“The service runs twice a month,” Guernsey Community Food Pantry Director Pat Russell said. “The first and the third Thursday. The people will get shopping lists, they fill it out, they give it to the Senior Center and then I pick those up. We then fill their orders, so they get to choose from everything like everybody else. They do get the shopping list as we don’t just put things together for them.”
Those who are deemed eligible for assistance must fill out an application at the Guernsey Community Food Pantry. That is where they can pick up their shopping list or they may also pick one up at the Guernsey Community Food Pantry. In addition, a new shopping list goes out with each box delivered.
Russell also mentioned that the delivery service has dwindled a bit due to people who have been able to get out to the pantry and due to some who have no longer required the service.
“We average about six deliveries on those weeks,” Russell said. “In addition, our food pantry feeds around 25-30 families per week which is our Friday pantry and it has changed its hours from 2-4 p.m. Then the mobile food pantry each month sees on average 300 families being fed.”
The Guernsey Community Food Pantry’s board members are: Pat Russell, director, Joe Michaels, Kris Shaw, LaKiesha Foggie Harimon, Craig Frederick, Debbie Fletcher, Major Sizemore, Kelly Augustyn, Frankie Adams and Angie Gardner. For information about the food pantry, you may call 303-807-2727.
Lynn’s Superfoods hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and they are located at 452 W. Whalen St. in Guernsey, Wyoming.